About the Photographer
American, b. 1950
Bruce Charlesworth is a multimedia artist who works with photography, film, video, performance, and interactive installation. His work often portrays ambiguous and absurdist narratives, fusing elements of fiction writing, such as detective and crime stories, with a dreamlike sensibility. Charlesworth’s photography, while serving as fragments of the larger narrative structures available in his film and video work, is imbued with a filmmaker’s narrative sensibility and cultivates a sense of mystery. Constructed sets border on abstraction while simplified versions of everyday objects are rendered in intensely bright colors in his prints, lending a further sense of theatricality and symbolism to his staged images.
Bruce Charlesworth completed a BA in Art at the University of Northern Iowa (1972) and an MA (1974) and MFA in Painting (1975) at the University of Iowa. He has exhibited extensively in Europe and the United States, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; and Tate Britain (formerly Tate Gallery), London. His work is held in many permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Charlesworth is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including from the McKnight, Jerome, Bush, and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, in 2007, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Publications include Private Enemy Public Eye: The Work of Bruce Charlesworth (Aperture, 1989). Charlesworth is on faculty in the Department of Film/Video/New Genres at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.